Review by Zylo the wolf
"Game of the decade? Not really but I understand why some love this game."
Few series got as much magic in them as the Legend of Zelda series. For a long time I thought it was really tough to decide which game is my favorite since the one that I'm currently playing usually feels like my favorite. I've always been interested in the game ever since my brother borrowed a Nes with a couple games including Legend of Zelda which felt like nothing that I could play on my Mega Drive or Playstation. But it wasn't until I got a Gamecube and later Wind Waker that really made me fell in love with the series, and I quickly gave Ocarina of Time a try, but for some reason I never gave Majoras Mask any attention...until now.
I know that the Zelda timelines can be really confusing, but if I understood it correctly this game follows the story where everything happend just like the plot Ocarina of Time tells us and without spoiling that whole game it never happens and Link is still a child. He rides on his horse Epona in the Lost woods of Hyrule where he meets a character named Skull Kid and his two fairies Tael and Tatl. They ambush Link and steals his horse and all his equipment, including the Ocarina. Link chases after them only to get a curse from Skullkid which turns our hero into a Deku. Tatl then prevents Link from going after Skullkid, but then she realizes that she don't want to be without her sister and agrees to help Link to find Skull Kid.
When they finally find Skull Kid, it seems that he's going to use the power of Majora's Mask to crash the moon into Terminia. Link does however get his Ocarina back and then remembers the Song of Time, which he uses and travels back three days. He then meets a mask salesman who cures him from the curse but also tells Link that he must take Skull Kid's mask called Majoras Mask from him in the next three days, or Terminia will get crushed by the Angry Moon. In order to be able to do that Link must get the four masks which will awake the four giants. It's not possible for Link to finish all this in just three days, but thankfully he got his Ocarina which can turn back the time.
This game is actually not that different from the previous Legend of Zelda games, which have always focused on dungeons. This game only got four main dungeons, but in order to be able to reach a dungeon you have to learn a special song for each dungeon. You get these songs by listening to Tatl where you are supposed to go next and then go there and see what happens. For example in order to get to the water dungeon you have sneak into the pirates secret base in order to steal back some eggs and bring them to a professor. This is easier said than done.
Each dungeon is full of closed doors that can only be opened if you solve the riddle of that room. Sometimes it's as easy as to only defeat all the enemies in the room but for most of the time it involves that you have to use an item, usually the one you found in that dungeon, somewhere or you have to look around and try to figure out what stands out with this room. Sometimes new things appear when you do something like a chest or something. Sooner or later you will find the new item for that dungeon and the big boss key which allows you to go into the boss room and defeat the boss.
Even if there are 23 masks to collect there are only a couple that you need to get, and there a three masks that are without a doubt more important than the others. These are the Deku Mask, the Goron Mask and the Zora Mask, which turns Link into a Deku, Goron or Zora when he puts it on. Goron Link is for example much heavier than normal Link, can roll which is the fastest way to travel, walk on fire and use it's brute force. Zora Link on the other hand can swim in the water like a fish and Deku Link can use the wind to glide far distances. There are many other masks that you will find, but these are the only one that you have to use in a dungeon.
Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask's time system is unique compared to pretty much every other game I've played that allows time travel. In most of the games you have a chance to change to future in the past and then be able to travel to the new future and see how you have changed it. This is not possible here since when you travel back in time, you actually do travel back in time and everything you have done will be forgotten, and since it's only possible to travel back in time and not to the future your only chance to see how you changed the future is to stay in your current time.
You do however keep all the masks, bottles and weapons that you find, and it's possible to put the money you've found in the bank to take out later (I have no idea why this works.) but all of your other items such a bombs, arrows and such will be gone. Another thing that you need to know is that all your progress in different quests will also restart from the beginning so it's important that you finish these before the time runs out or you have to do them all again.
Majora's Mask may sound short since there only are four dungeons, but there are a lot of different side quests that you can do as well. For example you have to do something in order to get any of the masks, there are challenges that needs to be done in order to collect bottles, a lot of different heart pieces and other things that I might have forgotten to mention. Doing this side quests will without a doubt make the final battle easier.
So why does this game only get a seven? It's actually the same reason as why this game is unique. You only got three days to complete a quest or you have to start over, and I personally hate to feel stressed in a Zelda game which is full of puzzles that may take a lot of time to solve. Even if most of them will feel obvious when you finally solve them, there really are a couple really evil riddles in this game.
And if time runs out, you really have to do the whole quest or dungeon all over again. I once found the boss key in a dungeon and was out of time so I had to restart the time and do the whole dungeon over again. Some side quests are also strange that you think they are over but they aren't and if you travel back in time you have to do them over again. To make it even worse you can only save when you travel back in time, so you need to make sure that you have 3 hours of so to spend on this game each time you decide to play it if you want to do anything to progress in the story.
I'm sure this is flaws that no one sees that knows how to get further in this game and the side quests might be fun for some to do. But I hate to feel stressed and I sometimes had to cheat and check in a FAQ because I was running out of time. I think this game would have been much better without this time limit, since this is still a good game. But it might have been one of my favorite Zelda games, but now I think this might be Zelda game I give the lowest score. 7/10 is without a doubt a good score, but when it comes to Zelda games I usually want to give much higher...
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 09/05/13
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (EU, 11/17/00)
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